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The Guardian Opens an Actual Coffee Shop in London

Photo: Twitter / @jimwaterson

Not content to just run a news outlet, the folks at the Guardian have opened a real live coffee shop in Shoreditch, East London. Called #GuardianCoffee, the shop is open to both journalists and civilians alike and features tables with the Guardian's lower case 'g' logo and tablets. According to Vice, espressos at the "data-driven" shop are going for £2.50 (roughly $3.80). Number-crunchers over at Order-Order guesstimate that in order for the shop to break even, they would need to sell at least 270 coffees a day. How hard can that be for a newspaper company with no coffee shop experience?

Although the whole thing sounds like an elaborate PR stunt, Eater reached out to the Guardian, whose press rep confirmed that the shop is in fact real. Further evidence of its realness can also be found in this job posting. They are looking for a Retail Operations Manager at the coffee shop who will be a "a first point of contact/liaison between the onsite coffee supplier/management team and Guardian News & Media HQ." Nifty.

Apparently the decision to open a coffee shop was as much about providing journalists with a space to work as it was about providing a place for people to buy coffee. The shop will also be hosting interviews and events. A spokesperson told Press Gazette that the shop is temporary for now, "in keeping with the nature" of the four-year pop-up mall the shop is located in. Below is the full statement the Guardian's spokesperson sent to Eater, noting also that there is no website:

#guardiancoffee is a fantastic example of how we are bringing our open journalism approach to life, by taking our leading technology reporting to where technology actually is: driving real-time debate and engagement among the creative tech community.

Our Head of Technology Jemima Kiss will be getting to know the key players from London's Tech City, and interviewing the people whose ideas are shaping the future - all fuelled by some really good coffee.

People will also be able to drop in to find out more about the Guardian's innovative approach to storytelling, and to enjoy some great food and drinks from local micro-roastery - Nude Espresso.

News of the cafe opening broke this morning on Twitter, with users adding the hashtag "#guardiancoffee" to tweets and pictures of the shop. Reviews are already starting to come in, and they are not very positive.

Vice's reporter found:

The first impressions weren't good. While this was obviously an attempt at a "hip coffee shop", it was clearly designed to be the kind of place where BBC researchers can charge their phones before going to Café Oto rather than somewhere Allen Ginsberg might stand on a table and read an allegorical poem about his penis and Vietnam ... The décor was exactly as you'd imagine. All tasteful wooden floors, tumblers full of brown sugar and more flat screens than a Glaswegian CCTV monitoring station. It felt lifeless and clinical, with the only noises coming from the coffee machine and the dreary, sub-Moloko hi-hat jazz house muzak chirping away in the background.

· All Coffee Coverage on Eater [-E-]


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